Thursday, June 3, 2021 - Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children of Muskogee, Wagoner, McIntosh and Sequoyah counties is expanding its efforts to represent the interest of abused and neglected children. The program is seeking adults to serve as CASA volunteers.
CASA volunteers are trained members of the community who are appointed by a family court judge to advocate for the best interest of a child who has been abused or neglected and placed into the state’s child welfare system.
CASA volunteers take the time to get to know the child at the heart of each case. They also work in collaboration with legal and child welfare professionals, educators, service providers and parents to ensure that the child has what he or she needs to heal.
A child in foster care may have faced physical, psychological and/or emotional trauma only to endure long periods of uncertainty in the child welfare system as they wait to return home to their parents or be adopted into a family. But having a caring, consistent adult -- someone who listens, checks in and puts the child’s best interest before all others -- can make all the difference.
CASA volunteers come from all walks of life and have varied professional, educational and cultural backgrounds. They are selected based on their objectivity, competence and commitment. No previous experience or education is required because all CASA volunteers complete pre-service training before being assigned to a case.
CASA for Children is in desperate need of more community members to step up and become volunteers.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, CASA for Children has fought to continue to provide volunteer advocates for children in need of a voice. The volunteer application and training process have been moved online, allowing volunteers to complete their screening and training from the comfort and safety of their own home.
To volunteer, applicants must be at least 21 years old, have no personal history with child welfare services and be able to pass a criminal background check. Most important, volunteers must have a heart for children and a desire to help.
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